Friday, August 31, 2012

Hashitate's monthly changing lunch

"Hashitate" is a subsidiary of a very historic Japanese restaurant "Wakuden" and is located on the 3rd floor of SUVACO Isetan in JR Kyoto.  I tried their monthly changing lunch of 1,680 yen.

Somen noodle with yuba (tofu skin), shiso (perilla) and sesame.  "Aemono (dressed food)" of chicken and wakame seaweed.  Salted cucumber with kombu seaweed.

Extra sticky steamed rice called "okowa" with hamo fish, pumpkin and soybean, wrapped in a bamboo sheath.

Dessert after a meal is a jelly-like lotus root rice cake.
Nice location, reasonable price, and great taste!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Jizo Bon Festival

I participated in a neighborhood "Jizo Bon Festival" in Yasaka Pagoda last week. Jizo Bon festivals are very unique neighborhood block parties in Kyoto.  Everyone in the neighborhood get together for the day to pray for the health and happiness of children. (Jizo is a gardian for children.)

There were lots of events scheduled for the children all day, and one of them was "Juzu Mawashi (turning the rosary)."  All of us sit in a large circle and pass around a very long string of prayer beads (for 108 times!) to the beat of a gong by the priest.

Bento lunch boxes and drinks were served to everyone, and children received lots of goodies.  After lunch, children enjoyed the spray of open fire hydrants!  

A very traditional Japanese game called "Suika-wari" was also fun.

Jizo Bon is a great tradition which reminds children that they are very much loved and protected.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Ristrante Oblio

I had lunch at Oblio pizza and pasta restaurant in Santei Zaka of Gion.  The atmosphere is very Japanese with a beautifully landscaped Japanese garden.

My lunch set of 1,580 yen includes:  prosciutto and ten kinds of vegetable salad...

Pizza Margherita, and iced coffee.

It's still very hot in Kyoto.  So "Kakigori," the Japanese style shaved ice dessert, seems popular.

Monday, August 13, 2012

My Artwork Exhibition News

I will hold the very first private exhibition this autumn. The work is embroidery of 52 "Unchu Kuyo Bosatsu (Bodhisattvas on Clouds)."  They are small statues on the wall that surround the main statue of Amida Nyorai (Buddha) in Amida Hall, or Phoenix Hall of Byodo-in Temple, which is located in Uji region of Kyoto.  

I completely fell in love with the statues at first sight!!

For the last couple of years, I had been stitching those 52 Bodhissattvas, and finally completed them.

Please come and see my work!
■ Date:  October 20 to 25, 2012
■ Time:  10AM to 6PM (5PM on the 25th)
■ Place:  be-Kyoto

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Beer Garden with Maiko Girl

The rooftop of Ryokan "Gion Shinmonso" becomes a beer garden during summer.  This beer garden is very special because a maiko girl comes around and serves drinks.  (Maiko changes every day.)

This is Satoharu.  She is 17 years old, and just made her debut as a maiko this spring.  (We asked her lots of questions...)

The price of 3,150 yen per person includes a set of six dishes, and

chicken yakitori, and

soybeans, small bowl of udon noodle, and a welcome drink.  You can also order extra dishes if you like.

A dance is performed at 8PM.

Her kimono and obi with morning glory design and kanzashi hair ornaments were very pretty.

And her dance was really cute and charming!

The beer garden opens until August 31st and reservation is required.  Sunday is closed.

Kozan-ji Temple

Kozan-ji is a world heritage temple, located on a hillside of the Toganoh Mountain in the northern part of Kyoto.  

The temple is well known as the oldest tea garden in Japan.

And it is especially famous for the national treasure "Choju Jinbutsu Giga," which is a series of animal caricatures.

They were drawn in the mid-12th ~ 13th century, and consist of 4 scrolls.  You can purchase those 4 scrolls of small replica at the Temple.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

"Mishina" of Japanese-style Western food

Restaurant Mishina is situated at the bottom of Ninen-zaka Slope in Gion. It's a small restaurant with only 10 counter seats.  Their lunch menu is a little bit pricey.

Asparagus potage or onion gratin soup: 1,050 yen.  
Crab cream croquette and fried prawns: 2,600 yen.  
Beef filet mignon cutlet: 3,700 yen.  
Beef stew: 3,700 yen.  
Beef filet mignon teriyaki: 5,500 yen.  
Green salad: 850 yen.  
(Ochazuke is included, except potage/soup and salad.) 

I ordered a crab cream croquette and fried prawns set. Food is prepared and cooked right in front of your eyes.  And look at the fine bread crumbs and beautiful golden color!  It's the best creamy croquette ever! 

Next is "Ochazuke," in which hot green tea is poured over steamed rice, topped with a few simple ingredients of vegetables and fish. 

And this cute tea cup...
  (They kindly brought a clean cup so that I could take these photos.) 

Lunch 12noon~14:30 (Last order)
Dinner (with reservation) 17:00~19:30 (Last order)
Tel. 075-551-5561

Thursday, August 09, 2012

Lunch at "Iyemon Salon"

I found the blog of Iyemon Salon recently, and their weekly lunch menus attracted me, so off I went to have "Summer Iyemon" (1,800 yen), one of This Week's Lunch Menu.

Hors d'oeuvres: Oboro-tofu (unpressed soft tofu) with green tea miso sauce, octopus carpaccio with yuzu and pepper oil, and tomato marinade with honey and ponzu.  Delicious!

Cold green tea noodle with sea eel tempura and vegetables.  Like a salad.

The main dish is a steak of Kagoshima beef!!

Roasted green tea (with a sweet black soybean) was served after the meal.

Internet is available in the shop.  Also Wi-Fi can be used freely.

Saturday, August 04, 2012


"Gyoza-no-Ohsho (King of Gyoza)" was founded in Kyoto and became the biggest gyoza (dumplings) chain restaurant in Japan.  There are many branches in Kyoto. 

I should have ordered their speciality "gyoza," but had a set of seafood fried rice and soy sauce flavored ramen noodle (819 yen).

 "Cheap, fast, delicious, and big quantity" seem like the restaurant's motto!!

Friday, August 03, 2012


There are many opportunities to see Buddhist statues like this one in Kyoto.

When I was walking my dog the other day, I came across this statue of Buddhist monk in a rocky cavern.

This is where he is (^^)

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

"One Coin" Food Festival on Saturday, August 4

It is a great event as you can taste food of Kyoto's very well-known Japanese restaurants at the price of 500 yen (per plate).  14 restaurants are to participate.  
Time: 11am–4pm
Where: Dilipa (Osaka Gas Showroom), Kyoto
Access: JR Sagano Line Tanbaguchi station 5min walk, JR Kyoto station bus 73, 75 /Hankyu Shijyo-omiya station bus 32 to Kyoto Research Park-mae
Tel: 075-315-8853